2018 AMI Online Salon

The Dikika Child: Implications for Functional Foot Anatomy

Project Details

  • Artist(s):  Eleanor Milman
  • Contributors: Zeray Alemseged, John Daugherty, Leah Lebowicz, Kevin Brennan,  ; Chicago, Illinois
  • Client: Zeray Alemseged, University of Chicago
  • Copyright: © 2018 Eleanor Milman
  • Medium / software used: Avizo, Materialize Mimics, Osirix, Autodesk 3ds Max, Pixologic ZBrush, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, Red Giant, film
  • Final presentation format: Animation (.mp4 file)
  • Primary audience: General

Project Description

The purpose of this project was to explore visual and technological strategies in creating an animation about the fossils of human ancestry. Working in collaboration with paleoanthropologist Dr. Zeray Alemseged at the University of Chicago, I reconstructed, modeled, and animated the foot of the Dikika Child fossil, also known as ‘Selam’ or ‘Lucy’s Child.’ This individual is the youngest early hominin specimen in the human fossil record, making her essential in uncovering the history and evolution of our unique human characteristics. In particular, I explore how different features of the foot anatomy can be linked to the development of upright bipedal locomotion in humans. This project not only facilitates the visualization of important paleoanthropological specimens for researchers, but it also improves the accessibility of human evolution research for a general audience.